Macbeth Quotes

“Fair is foul, and foul is fair.” ~ witches- foreshadowing, supernatural is shown as the witches speak in paradox. Suggests how everything is not as it seems and all that seems good is actually bad.
“Let not light see my black and deep desires.” ~ Macbeth- After Duncan announces that he will name his son Malcolm the next king, Macbeth is disappointed as he admits his desire to overtake the throne. – He is admitting his dark heart and even before LM is introduced to the audience macbeth admits he has dark thoughts. These thoughts should be hidden and doesnt want light (good, God) to see his immoral thoughts as he knows they go against the Divine right of Kings rule.
“Yet do I fear thy nature; it is too full of the milk of human kindness.” ~ Lady Macbeth (referring to Macbeth)- She fears that Macbeth is too kind to go through with killing Duncan.Milk refers to nature and good and here macbeth is too full of kindness contradicts with macbeth’s thoughts “deep and dark desires”
“Look like the innocent flower, but be the serpent under’t.” ~ Lady Macbeth (speaking to Macbeth)- Before King Duncan’s arrival at their castle. Macbeth’s wife wants him to act nice to Duncan’s face, and hide his evil intentions. Flower links to nature and serpent links to the serpent in the garden of eden, where the serpent was the bad temptations. Links to “Play the humble host”-LM
“Come, you spiritsThat tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here,And fill me from the crown to the toe top-fullOf direst cruelty!” ~ Lady Macbeth- calling on the spirits to take away her feminine, weakness and fill her with evil because she wants Duncan dead. Shows perhaps not evil already. Contrasts stereotypical women in the Jacobean Times. Calls to spirits link to evil witches.
“But screw your courage to the sticking-place,And we’ll not fail.” ~ Lady Macbeth- reassuring Macbeth that everything will work out if he fixes his courage firmly in place. Shows the dominance between their relationship and how it doesn’t follow a traditional relationship where the man is more dominant than the women. Unusal for audience at the time. LM has more power
“False face must hide what false heart doth know.” ~ Macbeth- He has decided he will go along with Lady Macbeth’s plan to kill Duncan. Telling himself that he must put on a false pleasant face to hide his false, evil heart. Links to “look like the innocent flower but be the serpent under it” and “Why do you make such faces”
“Had he not resembled My father as he slept, I had done’t.” (referring to Duncan) ~ Lady Macbeth- She would’ve killed Duncan herself but as he was sleeping he looked like her father.Shows perhaps LM is not all evil and has feminie qualities which make her vulneable and weak
“Will all great Neptune’s ocean wash this blood clean from my hand?” ~ Macbeth- looking at his hands after he has just killed Duncan. He wonders if all of the water in the ocean could wash the blood off his hands. The blood reperesent the guilt and it shows not even a huge mass of water (which is pure) could be rid of all the guilt he now faces
“Is this a dagger which I see before me,The handle toward my hand?” ~ Macbeth- Hallucinating that he sees a dagger before he kills Duncan.Foreshadows his guilt and madness later on. His own temptations like the serpent perhaps are what pushed him to kill duncan maybe it wasn’t all LM
“Thou hast it now: King, Cawdor, Glamis, all,As the weird women promised, and I fearThou play’dst most foully for’t.” ~ Banquo (referring to Macbeth)- meaning: well now you have everything that you were promised by the witches. I just fear that you did something bad to get it. Shows how people of the Jacobean era didn’t see any good / truth in the witches/supernatural but Macbeth is naive toward the witches
“A little water clears us of this deed.” ~ Lady Macbeth- After killing Duncan, she tells Macbeth that all they have to do is wash their hands and they will be cleared of their sin. Contradicts “will all great neptunes ocean…”
So foul and fair a day I have not seen Macbeth – opening line – paradox similar to witches – potential for supernatural links macbeth to the witches foreshadowing how he will be tied to the witches and the bad prophecies they bring
Thou shalt get Kings prophecy to Banquo however he doesnt fully believe it as the witches told him and so as a ‘normal’ view on supernatural in the Jacobean era he discards it as being manipulative and false, unlike macbeth
The instruments of darkness Witches, shows audience their supernatural and not living but evil spirits who should not be trusted like macbeth trusts them
Speak, I charge you! Macbeth. imperative phrase where the witches fail to obey, shows the lack of control/power and how later LM overrules Macbeth and is more dominant perhaps infering how Macbeth is weak
Come, thick night, and pall thee in the dunnest smoke of hell Lady Macbeth, light/dark imagery/Hellish imagery links to guilt. Also relates to Macbeth’s ‘Stars hide your fires…’, every act of evil from LM is carried out in the dark to perhaps hide her evil acts and make sure the light and purity/goodness/god doesnt see their sins
Look like the innocent flower, but be the serpent under’t Lady Macbeth, religious imagery – Adam and Eve sin against God due to the serpent’s temptation.
Vaulting ambition Gothic ambition – fatal flaw of tragic hero – only motive to kill – realises it is untrustworthy
I could not say ‘Amen’ Macbeth – Amen means ‘so be it’ in Hebrew – cannot ask for anything given his sin – guilt
Macbeth shall sleep no more Macbeth thinks he heard a voice cry ‘sleep no more!’ – accepts danger of sleep when he is to be king – insomnia – erratic and tyrannical behaviour
This dead butcher and his fiend like queen Malcolm – butcher: someone who kills with no remorse or regret or reason fiend – evil and immoral, capable of enchanting victims into a false sense of security
None of woman born shall harm Macbeth Second apparition (Bloody child) – comforts Macbeth but has double meaning – Macduff born Caesarean – Macduff can kill him
until Great Birnham wood to high Dunsinane Hill shall come against him Third apparition (crowned child) – branches cut down and used as camouflage used by the English led by Siward and Malcolm, Duncan’s son
We have scotch’d the snake, not killed it Macbeth – worried about threat (Banquo) – snake is the threat to his kinship – religious imagery – snake tempts
O, full of scorpions is my mind Links to when LM says “he is too full of the milk of human kindness” she doesnt see what’s really within macbeth
what he hath lost, noble Macbeth hath won. Duncan to RossThane of Cawdor will die, Macbeth will replace himfair is foul
lesser than Macbeth and greater. not so happy, yet much happier. thou shalt get kings, though thou be none. (1.3.68-70) witches to banquoBanquo wont be king, he will be happier than Macbeth, Banquo’s kids will be king and his line will carry on. Foreshadows and speak in paradox/contradictory statements
if chance will have me king, why, chance may crown me without my stir. (1.3.157-159) Macbeth to selflet chance take its course, not going to interfere/try anything
The raven himself is hoarse that croaks the fatal entrance of Duncan under my battlements. (1.5.45-47) Lady Macbeth to selfDUNCAN WILL DIE.
See, see our honored hostess! (1.6.13)Fair and noble hostess, (1.6.30) Duncan to Lady Macbethhe is too trusting
my hands are of your color, but i shame to wear a heart so white. (2.2.83-84) lady macbeth to macbethnot bothered by the death, white=pure
a little water clears us of this deed. (2.2.86) lady macbeth to macbethwater will cleanse us, repeated
But this place is too cold for hell. (2.3.16) porter to selfits worse than hell
It will have blood, they say; blood will have blood. (3.4.152) Macbeth to Lady MBthose that were killed will seek vengence
When our actions do not, our fears do make us traitors. (4.2.4-5) Lady Macduff to Rossapplies to Macbeth
Angels are bright still, though the brightest fell. Though all things foul would wear the brows of grace, Yet grace must still look so. (4.3.27-30) Malcolm to Macdufffair is foul- evil looks good, good also has to look good
Wash your hands. put on your nightgown. Look not so pale. I tell you again, Banquo’s buried; he cannot come out on ‘s grave. (5.1.65-67) Lady Macbeth to self/Doctor and Gentlewomanconfesses to death of Banquo

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